The Charity Commission has has launched a statutory inquiry – its most serious intervention – into the charity that supports footballers
A probe has been launched into a charity operated by the Professional Footballers' Association charity.
The Charity Commission has launched a statutory inquiry – its most serious intervention – into the organisation, which supports the charitable needs of current players, former players and then the public in general in and around football and its many facets.
One of the focuses of the probe will be the way the charity is managed by its eight trustees – the board includes PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor, ex-Scotland defender David Weir and former Tottenham hero Garth Crooks.
In November 2018, the Commission opened a regulatory compliance case to explore concerns raised about the charity’s relationship with the Professional Footballers’ Association trade union and their management of conflicts of interest.
During the past year, the commission met with the trustees as well as other parties. The commission obtained and assessed information from the charity, union and others. Despite extensive engagement, the regulator says it continues to have serious concerns which have led to the opening of the inquiry.
The inquiry will examine:
• the charity’s relationship and transactions with other bodies and whether they are in the best interests of the charity
• whether the charity’s activities have been exclusively charitable and for the public benefit
• the administration, governance and management of the charity by the trustees, examining how conflicts of interest have been dealt with and managed, and whether there has been any unauthorised trustee benefit
• whether or not the trustees have complied with and fulfilled their duties and responsibilities under charity law
The commission has said it may extend the scope of the inquiry if additional regulatory issues emerge.
Stephen Grenfell, head of investigations, monitoring and enforcement at the Charity Commission, said: “The public rightly expect charities to operate to the highest standards – across all they do. Serious concerns have been raised about the way the Professional Footballers’ Association charity is run. We will now examine what has happened at the charity through a full statutory inquiry and ensure, where necessary, action is taken”